Getting Down to Business
With assuredly zero causal relationship or correlation to Anthrobotic’s gentle prodding/questioning from about two weeks ago, NASA is finally letting R2 do some stuff and is sharing it with the public. And not just vague, temporally challenged press release thingys - there’s actually a steady feed of real-time news, only mildly cheesy 1st-person commentary, and some decent photos beaming down from the ISS to the R2 Facebook page & Twitter feed (which seem the best sources of R2 news out there). To watch it all go down live, catch NASA’s ISS video stream bright and early each morning.
Or… it is of course possible that, after the swooning fanboy coverage of Curiosity, the Nuclear-Powered Science Robot Dune Buggy with Lasers, NASA wised up and put a finger firmly on the pulse of Anthrobotic.com. They knew the score, they knew they were being watched by a steely-eyed technology dork with with 6 or 7 regular readers, and they knew it was time to let the robot out of the bag.
That’s right – don’t sleep, NASA.
Hip Yourself to Robonaut 2
For whatever reason – probably timing – NASA’s unleashed the only humanoid robot in space and, as with the success of promoting Curiosity’s approach and landing, they’re going proper on the social media, so give them a Like/follow (Facebook – Twitter). Right now it’s a lot of training and systems tests, but one suspects that before long R2 will be doing a lot of the crappy, tedious, boring, and perhaps dangerous jobs astronauts would naturally prefer to leave to the space janitor. But it will look cool. Because robot.
Someday, that difficult work could also include EVAs (like this animation of Russia’s counterfeit oops I mean version of an R2, the SAR-400). Okay, that wasn’t very nice. Sorry, Russia. It’s a actually a really decent idea.